Former "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) board member Chip Lesch became the 16th member of its Emeritus Board by unanimous vote at the recent DDWS annual meeting.
Lesch served on DDWS' Board of Directors for nine years. He was assistant treasurer for most of that time and also chaired a number of committees including Long Range Planning, Advocacy, Development, Stewardship, and Memorials/Endowments.
Lesch played a key role in the committee that found and hired DDWS Executive Director Birgie Vertesch and was instrumental in the success of the Preservation Campaign Committee that raised $1.8 million for the purchase of the Woodring property and for the updating of the "Ding" Darling Visitor & Education Center.
Emeritus Board Committee Chair Susan Cassell with new member Chip Lesch. PHOTO PROVIDED.
"To be an Emeritus, a candidate has to have served on the board for at least six years and have made an outstanding contribution to DDWS," said Emeritus Board Committee Chair Susan Cassell. "Chip really fits the bill!"
"Sanibel is so lucky to have the strong support of Chip Lesch, his wife Sheryl, and The Sanibel Captiva Trust Company he's been a part of," said DDWS President John McCabe. "He has been behind so many causes here and throughout Lee County. We are honored he has agreed to become a part of our emeritus board."
To honor and take advantage of the wisdom and experience of retired members of its board and to honor the memory of departed past members, DDWS created its emeritus program in 2007, whereby members have the opportunity to stay associated with board actions and initiatives.
The DDWS board can elect up to two new members each year. The following are also members of the DDWS Emeritus Board: Terry Baldwin, Milena Eskew, Millie Ford, Don Heidorn, Dick Hulit, Joseph Kelley, Marilyn Kloosterman, Molly Krival, Cindy Pierce, Jeanne Rankin, Jim Sprankle, and Mary Ruth Stegman. Departed members include Art Krival, Gene Steele, and Bud Ryckman.